As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we shed light on the growing issues surrounding electronic employee monitoring, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) disavowal of comments by a former General Counsel (GC) regarding abortion travel benefits, and California’s latest marijuana employment protection law.

Continue Reading Video: Potential for NLRA Expansion, EEOC Disavows Former GC’s Comments, California Adds Marijuana Employment Protections – Employment Law This Week

In the wake of the landmark decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, we have been closely monitoring legal developments across the country. In addition to well publicized “trigger laws” that were effectuated as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s order, states have taken up a variety of legislative actions in response to the ruling, which placed authority for the regulation of abortion with the states.

Continue Reading Five States Put Abortion Questions on the Ballot; Health Care and Other Employers Should Stay Tuned

The California legislature has presented S.B. 1162 (“the Bill”) to Governor Gavin Newsom. If the Governor signs the Bill into law, California will follow the lead of jurisdictions like Colorado and New York City by requiring many employers to include pay scales in job postings. The Bill would also impose pay equity reporting requirements, not just on large employers obligated to do so under federal law, but on any private employer with 100 or more employees, including those whose “employees” are hired through labor contractors. Those reports will also have to include breakdowns of aggregate data not previously collected.

Continue Reading California Raises the Bar on Pay Equity

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we look at labor law and pay developments from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and in California.

Continue Reading Video: The Union-Friendly Biden NLRB, California’s FAST Act, and Pay Transparency in California – Employment Law This Week

California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) give consumers substantial rights regarding the disclosure and use of their personal information collected by businesses subject to the law. Significantly, CCPA/CPRA define the term “consumer” to mean any California resident. This broad definition extends not only a business’s individual customers, but also its employees, job-applicants and even its business-to-business (B2B) contacts. We have previously discussed the compliance requirements of these data privacy laws on organizations doing business in California, and the moratoriums for B2B and employee/applicant data that that the Legislature had put in place exempting covered businesses from complying with certain requirements of the laws.[1] Unless extended by the Legislature (which appears unlikely) or preempted by federal privacy legislation (which appears even more unlikely), the moratoriums will sunset on January 1, 2023. Accordingly, covered businesses should begin  preparing now to meet their upcoming expanded statutory obligations to protect consumers data privacy.

Continue Reading No More Exceptions: What to Do When the California Privacy Exemptions for Employee, Applicant and B2B Data Expire on January 1, 2023

For the second time this spring, a California statute designed to promote diversity in corporate boardrooms was blocked by a state judge. On May 13, 2022, in Crest v. Padilla I (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. 19STCV27561) (Crest), Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis ruled that California Corporations Code Section 301.3 (SB 826), which requires publicly listed corporations in California to have women on their boards, violates the Equal Protection Clause of California’s Constitution. California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber has since announced plans to appeal the decision, stating that “SB 826 was passed not to remove men from the boardroom, but simply to make room for highly qualified women who have been excluded from the corporate board selection process for decades.”

Continue Reading Another California Board Diversity Statute Struck Down in Court: Appeal to Be Filed

Prompted by the widespread adoption and use of video-conferencing software following the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have shifted toward video interviews to evaluate potential hires. Even as employers have begun to require in-office attendance, the widespread use of video interviewing has continued, because it is a convenient and efficient way to evaluate applicants. Some of the video interviewing tools used by employers incorporate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in an effort to maximize the effectiveness of the interview process. Often, employers contract with third-party vendors to provide these AI-powered interviewing tools, as well as other tech-enhanced selection procedures.

Continue Reading What Principles of Explainability and Transparency Should an Employer Consider When Using Video Interviewing and Similar Automated Hiring Tools?

A California Superior Court judge has invalidated state legislation that required boards of publicly held corporations headquartered in California to include a minimum number of directors from underrepresented communities.  The court’s decision effectively strikes down Assembly Bill No. 979 (“AB 979”), a law enacted with the goal of increasing diversity on boards of directors, paving the way for a parallel outcome to a similar challenge of a statutory mandate for increased gender diversity on boards of directors.

Promotion of “Underrepresented Communities” Struck Down

Continue Reading Board Diversification by Legislative Mandate? One California Court Says No.

On January 27, 2022, the California Supreme Court, in Lawson v. PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc. (Cal., Jan. 27, 2022) __ P.3d __, 2022 WL 244731, clarified the evidentiary standard for presenting and evaluating retaliation claims under California Labor Code Section 1102.5 (“section 1102.5 whistleblower retaliation claim”).   Lawson involved a workplace retaliation claim brought by a sales representative selling paint products to home improvement stores in Southern California. The plaintiff claimed his employer terminated him because he complained about being instructed to alter the tint of certain paint colors to avoid having to repurchase less popular paints from the retailer later.

In 2003, California lawmakers enacted Labor Code Section 1102.6, setting forth a framework for whistleblower retaliation claims that varied from the burden-shifting test established by the United States Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green (1973) 411 U.S. 792 (“McDonnell Douglas”).  Despite section 1102.6’s enactment, some California courts continued to apply the McDonnell Douglas test to section 1102.5 whistleblower retaliation claims.

Continue Reading Burden Shifting: California Supreme Court Settles Confusion Over Section 1102.5 Claims